• Attendees included Iraq’s former finance minister and former vice-president
  • Both men have arrest warrants that have been issued against them under anti-terrorism laws
  • Iraqi ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal called the event a “blatant interference in Iraq’s internal affairs”

Iraq’s Foreign Ministry has recalled its charge d’affaires from Doha in response to Qatar hosting a meeting of Sunni groups that include several figures that have arrest warrants issued against them in Iraq, according to a government official.

The event “was held in the Qatari capital Doha without the knowledge of the Iraqi government”, Iraqi ministry spokesman Ahmad Jamal told Qatar-based broadcast agency Al-Jazeera.

Jamal described the conference as a “blatant interference in Iraq’s internal affairs”.

The event threatened “to harm the fraternal relations between the Republic of Iraq and the sister state of Qatar”, he added.

Iraq’s former finance minister Rafi al-Issawi and former vice-president Tareq al-Hashemi attended the conference.

Both men have existing arrest warrants that have been issued against them under anti-terrorism laws.

London-based newspaper Al-Arabi al-Jadid reported that the Iraqi authorities were aware of the conference in advance of the event and that the defence minister in Baghdad was invited, citing anonymous Qatari diplomatic sources.

The meeting was intended to unify the Sunni voice, which would then call for a UN-backed national reconciliation conference in Iraq, the paper said.

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